I won't be forced out of my home vows mum after series of attacks
A Co Tyrone mother has vowed to remain in her home, despite an ongoing campaign of intimidation linked to a Dublin-based criminal gang.
Sharon Gervin said she has invested thousands of pounds into increasing security at the house in Coalisland that she shares with her husband and young family.
It follows a series of terrifying attacks which began last October when a man, understood to be a convicted drug dealer, attempted to extort money from her son.
Threats escalated in the months afterwards, with a gun attack on their Loughview Gardens home in March this year, as they celebrated their daughter’s 21st birthday.
Two men pulled up outside the house just after midnight and shot five times through the front window and door.
Then, at the beginning of this month, Sharon and her husband were subjected to a further attack when a series of shots were fired at their home yet again, with one hitting the wardrobe close to where they had been sleeping.
The couple and their other children, both young teenagers, have also been informed of threats to their security in the months since the terrifying campaign against them began.
Despite the ongoing nightmare, Sharon said she will not be intimidated from the home she has built up since she was married at the age of 18.
She also praised the support of the Coalisland community, who have offered their own homes to the Gervins, and elected representatives, including independent councillor Dan Kerr, Malachy Quinn of the SDLP and Linda Dillon, a Sinn Fein Mid Ulster MLA.
“The support we have been receiving has been phenomenal,” Sharon said.
“It is horrendous that these people who are carrying out these attacks and threats are allowed to do this, it’s disgusting.
“We are an ordinary family, we keep ourselves to ourselves. To have our family home shot at once was bad enough, but to then have to go through it again, it’s just soul-destroying.
“We have invested thousands of pounds into our home since this began. We have put in CCTV cameras and alarm systems. We have younger children, who are just 15 and 16 years old.
“I am worried about the impact it is having on them, not just on their physical health, but the mental trauma they are experiencing.
“Hopefully the people behind this will be taken off the streets. My priority is my children and their wellbeing. Just looking into their wee eyes is heartbreaking.”
It is understood the PSNI and Garda are liaising in their investigations into the attacks on the Gervin family home and that a series of threatening text
messages and voicemails are being examined as part of that process.
Sharon remains determined to protect her family and their home, meanwhile, and expressed her gratitude to all those who had offered help in recent months.
“I have no choice but to stand up for my family”, Sharon continued. “We could leave our house, yes, but we bought it when I was just 18 after we got married.
“At that time, we didn’t even have a sofa, but we have worked hard for everything we have and how dare this man think he will threaten us out of our home?”